Whether you’re relocating for a job or just wanting to move across town, when you’re ready to sell your house, you want it to look great so potential buyers will be likely to inquire for more information. Curb appeal is basically what it sounds like - the appeal of your house from the outside. You want this to be excellent if you are looking to sell because your goal is to draw in buyers who will pay top price for your home. Keep reading for 7 curb appeal tips that can come in handy when you’re selling your home.
Tend to the Yard
One of the first things prospective buyers will notice when they come to your house is the yard. Regardless how great the interior of your home is, if the exterior isn’t up to par, buyers won’t be impressed. If you don’t want to hire a professional landscaper to clean up the yard before prospective buyers come to tour the home, simply mowing, trimming, and edging the yard can make it look much more enticing.
Add a Pop of Color to the Exterior
While maintaining the lawn and hedges is critical to your home’s curb appeal, you may also want to add a pop of color with flowers or plants. While you don’t need a full garden of any sort, just having some flowers on the stairs or deck can increase attention to your home. Most flowers are very affordable - just make sure you get “Full Sun” ones if your plants will be exposed to the sun all day.
Paint the House
Many home sellers are hesitant to paint their houses because it can get really pricey; however, buyers are much less inclined to purchase a house with deteriorated paint. If you don’t want to paint the entire house, you may want to at least paint the trim to make it look neater and newer. If you plan on using a contractor to paint your house, he or she can probably guide you in choosing the right color that will give your home the best curb appeal.
Clean Your Roof and Your Gutters
Most people who own homes - and many who don’t - know what a hassle it is to maintain and replace a roof. Therefore, you want to make sure your roof is in good condition and appears sturdy. Leaves and other debris should all be removed from the roof and gutters, and you’ll want to make sure the gutters are all neatly attached where they are supposed to be. If you need to replace the roof, you might be reimbursed through a higher selling price. Alternatively, if the roof needs a lot of work, offer prices may come in much lower.
Think About the Front Door
While the front door is only a small portion of a house, it is also one of the most important ones that potential buyers will notice. Buyers immediately get a bad “vibe” if they walk into front doors with dated, cracked paint, so it is crucial to make sure yours is inviting and updated. You do not need to buy an entire new door, but you may want to touch up the paint on yours if it needs work.
Pay Attention to the Windows
Similar to the front door, while windows normally don’t make up too much of a home’s exterior, they can highly impact a home’s curb appeal. Making sure the shape and color scheme for your windows matches as well as the type of shades (or blinds) you have is crucial, as any differences may not be noticeable from within but can definitely appear unattractive from afar. If your windows are older and not in great shape, you may also want to treat them before buyers come by.
Clean the Walkways and Driveways
First impressions truly do matter to home buyers, so you will always want to ensure your walkways and driveways are pristine. Buyers don’t want to walk on a filthy ground to get to the house, and having clean walkways and driveways gives the impression that the inside is pristine, too. You can pressure wash these areas to make them shine, or at least run a hose over them to get off dirt and other substances on the surface. If your driveway is black top, you can also add a layer of sealant to make it look even better.
If you are looking for a great painting contractor, you might not know where to start. There are likely a lot of them in your area, and choosing one can be overwhelming. All of us want the interior and exterior of our properties to look great, but we need to ensure the contractor we choose is reputable, will do the job properly, and is not going to rip us off. Luckily, there are steps you can take to make sure you pick the best one who is going to complete the job right and have your place looking great. Below are six ways to find a great painting contractor.
1. Ask Around and Get Several Quotes
Of course, you may start out your search for a great painting contractor by asking friends and family members for suggestions. We trust our friends and family, so we are likely to at least interview the individuals that are recommended to us. However, it is always a smart idea to get multiple quotes - at least three or four - and meet different professionals, as all jobs differ and a professional’s team or prices may have changed since your friends or family members used him or her. Newer crew members may have less experience or the price list may have been altered. If you were not referred by someone else, ask the contractors for reference lists. If they are well-respected, they should not hesitate to provide you with some.
2. Search Engines
Perhaps the simplest way to find a painting contractor in your area is to use a search engine such as Google to look for one. Type in keywords such as “painting contractor” with your zip code and you’ll get an idea of who might be the best contractor for your paint job and how many options you have. Google does a pretty good job of listing high quality painters highly up in their search results, so chances are you can trust the first companies you see listed.
3. Ask Your Local Paint Shops
One of the most overlooked and unthought of ways to find a painting contractor is simply to ask your local paint shops. Many contractors prefer to do business with local shops instead of bigger chain stores, so they should certainly have some suggestions you may want to look into. Ask which contractors buy the highest quality paint, are reliable with payments, and have great reputations in the community.
4. Pay Attention to Ads
While advertising in newspapers isn’t the most lucrative way to find business (seeing as many people no longer subscribe to them) placing advertisements in/on newspapers, local magazines, television, radio, and the Internet is a good idea for contractors to get their names out to the public. Pay attention to these and if you’re interested, give them a call.
General Tips for Hiring a Painting Contractor
There are some steps you should take when choosing to go with a contractor after you find one. First, simply pay attention when one comes to check out your property. You should definitely be present at the property in need of a paint job when the contractors come to check out your place and assess what procedures they may need to carry out to complete the job. You will obviously need to get an idea of the contractors’ work ethic and personalities, but also be sure to note how much time they spend during their assessment. While experts in other industries are expected to work quickly and immediately know what needs to be done, professional painters usually need more time to analyze the structure and determine which type of paint, primer, and so on they will need to use.
Along the same lines, ask for an honest breakdown of expected material, time, and labor costs. Certain factors can greatly change the price of your paint job, including the brand of paint, how many coats will be applied, and any other processes that the contractor plans to carry out. If you are diligent about who you choose and how you find them, your paint job is guaranteed to turn out great.
If you’re choosing colors for your kitchen, it might be hard to determine what palette is right for you. These days, kitchens are more than an area for cooking and utility. They’re communal spaces.
Many homeowners choose white or neutral colors to keep a kitchen balanced. But, you don’t need an eye for design or an understanding of color theory to select the right colors for your kitchen.
All you need is a sense of some basic things, such as use and location. Then start factoring in your kitchen’s other aspects, like lighting, cabinets, and other accessories.
Feeling overwhelmed? Here’s an easy-to-use kitchen painting breakdown:
Purpose in Color
The kitchen can be the most important part of your house. After all, it’s the hub for your everyday activities.
Through homecooked meals and time spent together, some believe that the kitchen is the most important room for your family. Live alone? Same thing. Your kitchen still receives a high amount of traffic through solo daily activity.
When considering colors for this space, think about its purpose. Also, consider the duality of your kitchen. Regardless of where you live, this area could double as an entertainment space or gathering area.
Specific colors can set the proper tone for use. HGTV weighed different tones against the colors that inspire actions. “Warmer colors such as red are believed to stimulate the appetite and are an excellent option for kitchens. Red is incredibly versatile and there are multiple shades that would really pop in a kitchen, either on the cabinets or the walls.”
Yellow hues are a good option if you want to open up a room and inspire hunger in your guests or family members. Yellow can lift the energy of your kitchen with it’s bright, sunny effect. HGTV adds that it also pairs well with white and gray accents.
Want a more relaxed atmosphere? Blues and greens can bring a calm, earthy feeling to your kitchen. Blue hues give it a crisp feel. Just be sure to balance the blue with white or neutral accents to avoid weighing down the space.
Like blue, green provides comfort. Green also pairs well with white and natural accents. If you opt for a butcher block countertop or island, the combination with green walls can give your kitchen an earthy atmosphere.
Neutrals and white are among the most popular colors when it comes to kitchens. These palettes can give your kitchen a refreshing feel in the morning with its clean look. It’s also easier to match with your countertops, cabinets, and appliances. Gray is also a good choice here, but as HGTV said, “It often gets categorized as being too cold . . .”
The location of your kitchen establishes the purpose and overall atmosphere. By “location,” we’re talking about connection. Is the kitchen a separate room, or is it part of an open floor plan connected to a living or dining room?
If your kitchen is open and connected with another considerable area of your home, you’ll want to think about flow. Color can help by establishing kitchen borders. This is why many homeowners often choose neutrals for their kitchen. Most want to avoid strong colors clashing with their living or dining area.
HomeTips recommends a simple remedy to an open floor plan: “Pull rooms together with a thread of color, and try not to match the shades between your living space and your kitchen perfectly.”
The amount of light in your kitchen is a significant factor when choosing colors.
Windows impact the amount of natural or artificial light in the space. Better Homes & Gardens recommends taking into account the different shades of your favorite color in the sun and shade. “Northern light is cool, for instance, and it's often best to counter it with a warm color. But as the sun moves or drifts behind clouds, colors shift and change.”
BHG touches on how the lights in your kitchen can impact its color. “Artificial lighting changes colors, too. That's why it's so important to apply samples where the colors will be used and in context with other colors and materials -- which also affect perception.”
But don’t stress over the light in your kitchen. Read on to see how you can accurately test colors in different lighting conditions.
Fixtures, Cabinets, & Accessories
Aside from light, elements already found in your kitchen like fixtures, cabinets, and accessories can guide the color selection process. Martha Stewart’s website advises homeowners use these “color cues.”
Countertops provide a great jumping-off point for color. Common countertop materials, such as wood, marble, granite, and quartzite, give a natural balance for a color to work around.
Likewise, using neutral tones on kitchen walls can open up the potential for a pop of color on your cabinets. Accentuate those neutrals with warm or cool accents. Just make sure to use a good finish on your cabinets to ensure you get the color effect you’re aiming for.
Light fixtures are another way to bring in character for neutrals, whites, grays, or even dark colors. Most light fixtures come with a brushed gold, bronze, nickel, or chrome finish. Brushed gold against a white background gives your kitchen a beautiful accent without going overboard.
Aside from fixtures, look to your kitchen accessories—for instance: your refrigerator, stove/oven range, sink, even your coffee maker. Chrome, a popular finish for most accessories, works well with cooler hues. Bronze or brushed gold is more flexible. It can warm up a space painted in darker colors, or it can add to the effect of warmer tones such as red, yellow, and burgundy.
Test Your Colors
Once you find a selection of colors--test them! Don’t fall into the one-and-done trap only to discover that you don’t like the color after you’ve finished painting.
Most paint stores offer paint samples that come in small canisters. Get samples of the colors your like and paint swatches on the wall of your kitchen.
Are you’re existing walls painted in another color? Grab a white foam-core board and paint your swatches on there. This method is a bit more effective because you can move the board around to different spots in your kitchen, gauging both natural and artificial light.
When it comes to choosing colors for your kitchen, don’t sweat the small stuff--be inspired by it. Think about the feeling you want your kitchen to inspire; it’s purpose in your everyday life. That way, you can create a space that adds to the comfort of your home.
Expertise Painting Inc. recently did this prep and paint of fireplace wood mantle and brick. What a difference this made in brightening up the room! The homeowner was very pleased with the finished product.
Painting your kitchen cabinets is a great way to make a big impact without breaking the bank. It can also be a little intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be! Whether you’re a DIY pro or a DIY novice, we’ve got some tips and tricks to guide you through the process and tackle the job with confidence.
Step 1: Choosing the paint
Oil-based or Water-based?
Once you decide what color you want to use, you need to decide on the right kind of paint. You can use either water-based or oil-based paint on your cabinets. Oil-based paints are generally considered more durable, have a smoother finish and require less coats. However, they have a strong smell, higher VOCs, and can yellow over time. Oil-based paints are also more difficult to clean up mistakes.
Water-based, or latex, paints have become more popular and offer a wide variety of options. Water based paints improving all the time and are more resistant to cracking and chipping than ever before. They do not yellow over time, dry quickly, can be cleaned up with soap and water, and are better for the environment.
But if you’re still unsure what type of paint to use on your kitchen cabinets, consider the look you are hoping to achieve. If you’re going for a more modern, sleek finish, oil-based paint will give you good results (though the sheen can dull over time). If you are looking for something more matte and rustic, use a latex paint.
Step 2: Prep for Painting
Empty cabinets and tape
Before you begin, you need to empty cabinets and drawers. Apply painters’ tape where cabinet frames meet walls, counters, and floors.
Remove doors and hardware
Remove all the cabinet doors and drawers. (If you are super careful, you might be able to paint the drawers without pulling them out, but it will be easier if you do.) Remove any hardware. Don’t forget to label and bag everything before you place them in a storage shed or unit so you remember how to reassemble when you’re done.
Wash cabinet surfaces
Thoroughly wash all surfaces with a good degreasing cleanser like TSP. Removing as much oil and grease as possible will help the paint stick to the surface of the cabinets.
Strip and Sand
The purpose of sanding your cabinets is to simply scuff them up just enough to get rid of any gloss and create a surface for the new paint to stick to. You don’t have to spend a ton of time on this step. A 120-150 grip sandpaper will work. If you prefer, you can use a liquid de-glosser.
After sanding, be sure to clean up any debris with a vacuum or tack cloth. Paint will reveal every bump and crack, including tiny dust particles.
Like sanding, priming does not need to be perfect. You just need a thin coat on most of the surface area. Be careful not to let the primer to pool in corners.
Helpful hints on Sanding and Priming
If your cabinets are currently painted, you may be tempted to simply paint over them. But you do need to prep the surface. If they were painted with an oil-based paint, you must sand and prime the cabinets if you plan to cover them with a latex paint. If they were painted with a latex paint, you should still at least sand before painting.
If you’re painting over cabinets with a heavy wood grain and are looking for a smooth finish, you can fill in holes in the grain with a light spackle. Then sand and prime.
Some new latex paints -- like chalk paint and milk paint -- can be used without sanding and priming. These may sound like great options if you’re short on time, but they will also require multiple coats of paint. (And the subsequent waiting for each coat of paints to dry between coats.)
If you are unsure what kind of paint is on your cabinets or what material they are made of, paint a small section of the cabinet and let it dry. If you can scratch or chip the paint off with your fingernail or sandpaper, you’ll definitely need to sand and prime.
Step 3: Paint
Start with frames and use the appropriate size brush for each section. (Small details, small brush. Large surface, large brush.) Choose high quality brushes with ultrasoft bristles. Not only will these give you the most professional look, they’ll also retain their softness better when properly cleaned so you can use them again and again.
After you finish the frames, move to doors and drawers. Paint the backs first, let them dry, then paint the fronts. Be sure to allow enough time for the paint to dry between coats and sections.
Finishing with a paint roller can be helpful if you are trying to avoid evidence of any brush strokes.
Using a paint sprayer may save some time and definitely eliminates brush strokes, but you’ll need to mask off all surrounding surfaces and have a place where you can spray the doors and drawers. You’ll also need to properly clean the spray bottle when you’re done. This method can give you the most professional look but it’s also the method that requires the most skill.
Step 4: Reassemble
If you are using the same hardware, be sure to wash and polish before attaching them to your freshly painted doors and drawers.
Reattach Doors and Drawers
Because you labeled all the doors and hardware, reassembling your kitchen should be quick and easy.
Step 5: Enjoy!
Your newly painted cabinets will definitely give your kitchen a whole new look and feel. You’ll have the professional-looking, upgraded kitchen of your dreams, without having spent tons of time and money!
It may seem like an impossible task, but as long as you take some time to prepare, painting your house will go smoothly. Once you start painting, you will notice that the work goes by quickly.
When the exterior of your house is not prepared properly, it makes the painting job a lot more difficult. Here is what you need to do to be sure you are all prepared for the first round of painting.
Know What Color You Want and How Much
First, always know how much of your house is going to need a fresh coat of paint- this will determine how much paint you need to purchase. Sometimes, you can get away with only painting over the trim or other areas where house paint often peels.
Of course, you are also going to want to find that perfect shade of paint. While shopping, be sure that you are listening to the advice of professionals. They will often have samples for you to test and give great advice on picking colors that look amazing on your house.
Don’t Skip on Quality
It can be tempting to buy the cheapest paints- since you are probably going to need to be buying a lot of buckets to coat your home. However, if you do this, the paint will not last long and your hard work will go to waste.
Quality paint can last up to 10 years without needing replacement. Over the long run, this will save you a bit of money and effort.
Clean the Exterior
Cleaning the exterior of the home is crucial. Otherwise, the paint will not stick to the grime, or even trap it against the outside of your house. You can pressure wash the outside of it to ensure that all of the dirt and debris is removed.
You will want to cover any yard decorations or plants near the house with a tarp or other plastic before moving on to the next step. Protecting areas that you do not want to drip paint on is also a good idea. Be sure to cover your door and windows before you get to painting.
Scrape and Sand
Once the house has been washed and is dried, you will want to search for any peeling paint. If you notice that it is cracked or lifting off the house, then you will want to scrape it off.
You can do this with either a wide putty knife or a wire brush. You will want to work in small areas and only remove the already chipped paint. After that, take some time to sand down the area- this is will give a smooth surface for the new paint to hold on to.
Know When to Paint
At this point, you are going to want to wait for the perfect house painting day. If you do not, the paint might blister, buckle, or have other visual issues. The best days to paint house exteriors are days between 75 and 85 degrees, with very little humidity. Direct sunlight will also cause issues in the paint.
Know What Brush Works Best
A brush made from a blend of nylon and polyester works best for all latex-based paints. They have the bonus of being easy to clean as well if you want to use it later. A brush made from only polyester is great also for latex paints.
Brushes made from natural materials, such as animal hair, are used with oil-based paints. If you need to do any varnishing or use shellac, these brushes also work great for that.
You will want a larger brush- no sense in using a tiny one when you want to paint an entire house. Save the small brushes for detailing, such as on the trim. Square shaped brushes are also the best at covering larger, flat areas. So, you will end up using them a lot when painting your home.
Other types of brushes are better for covering the corners. For example, a chisel-shaped brush is used to produce straight lines over edges. An angled brush can be used effectively on the window trim.
Now You’re Ready!
Now that you are ready to get painting, we have a few final tips for you to help the process be a little easier.
First, you should “box your paint”. This is where you pour all of your paint cans into one container. It gives the result a more professional appearance, as the color is applied more evenly.
Finally, be sure that you are always painting from the top of the house and work your way down. It is much easier to work with the pull of gravity than against it.
And that is how you prep your house for painting! We hope that the painting process goes well for you, without any mishaps. If you want to hire professionals in the Charlottesville, VA area to do all the work for you instead, we are here for you.
Painting your home is never a simple choice. This is especially true when it comes to its interior. While making things cozy is certainly a priority, it’s also important to keep things stylish in any home. One of the most popular and simple ways to do this is adding an accent wall to make the room pop! You might be wondering what color of paint to use as an accent, which wall would work best, or if an accent wall even makes sense in your home.
We understand that these questions may feel a touch overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to make painting your home simple. Read on to learn some of our tips for selecting and painting an accent wall for the interior of your home.
To Accent or Not to Accent
Before you learn about the ins and outs of painting an accent wall, you should decide if one even makes sense in your home. From our perspective, there’s a color of paint that will work great as an accent in any room of your home. That being said, accent walls sometimes clash with the design of the rest of your home. For instance, it generally isn’t recommended to add an accent wall to a large room because it can make the space feel too large—the opposite of the cozy feeling we all want in our homes. Alternatively, small rooms often benefit from accent walls which can both add some excitement and make the space seem larger. It’s also worthwhile to add an accent wall to your home if you’d like to draw attention to a specific detail in a room, such as an art piece. The right shade of paint can draw everyone’s eyes that direction.
What You Should Accent
Now, you’ve decided that an accent wall may be the right choice for the inside of your home. Before you rush out to buy paint, it’s time to decide what you actually want to accent! This is the step where you can really allow your personal sense of style to shine through. You may want to draw guests’ eyes to an interesting architectural feature, painting, or even sculpture. Or maybe you want an accent wall that matches your furniture, giving the room a cohesive feel. No matter what, be sure to choose a specific aspect of the room to accent—otherwise, painting an accent wall won’t make any sense.
Keep Architecture in Mind
When choosing which wall to paint, we cannot emphasize the importance of analyzing the architecture of your home enough! While our dreams for a home are limitless, we do have to work within the confines of the space. With this in mind, check if the room has any walls that are either recessed or far from the room’s entrance. These walls are often the best accents as a bold color of paint will emphasize their unique features and give the room depth.
Paint with Caution
When painting the interior of your home, it can be easy to get carried away. On paper, complicated and busy designs sound great. In reality, they can make a room feel confused. When it comes to painting an accent wall, we recommend less paint rather than more. Namely, your accent wall will be most effective if it is small! Ensuring that your accent is a smaller portion of the room allows it to really pop and prevents the paint color from overwhelming the space.
Choosing the Right Paint Color
Here’s the fun part! You’ve decided that your home needs an accent and have picked the perfect wall. Now, you need to decide on a paint color. We encourage you to be open minded during this process. Never be afraid to pick a dozen paint swatches to test things out. And when picking out colors to sample, be sure to get a wide range. Colors that might seem to bold in the store could look beautiful in your living room. Alternatively, the colors you love at the store could feel a bit too plain to serve as an accent wall when you get home. And never forget to compare your paint swatches to more than just the wall you plan to have painted. Because this is an accent wall, you want to be sure the color doesn’t clash with any other features in the room.
Call Us to Get the Paint Job Done
At the end of the day, painting your home is a very personal process. After all, everyone who visits will notice your accent wall immediately. That’s the point! Guests can tell when you have put a lot of thought into the design of your home’s interior and quality paint is a great way to send a message. Once you’ve settled on colors and walls, reach out to our team. We’ll proudly help you take your interior design to the next level, one coat of paint at a time.
Call or email us today for a free estimate.
Before starting any wall painting project, it's important to prepare the walls before they are painted. This first, and most important step, is usually the one done poorly or skipped altogether by painters with little experience. But I've learned that a properly prepared wall makes all the difference between a new coat of paint looking ok and looking fantastic.
In newer houses the walls may not need much prep work. If the house and/or paint is old and peeling off, then it will need to be completely removed before new paint is added. You can remove the old paint with a sander or a paint stripper and scraper. Paint strippers include harsh chemicals and can be dangerous to use. Paint scrapers involve more work, but usually the end result is much better.
Give me a call today and we can discuss your painting needs in Charlottesville.
Thank You! We here at Expertise Painting wanted to take a moment to THANK our loyal clients for an awesome 2019 and we look forward to an even better 2020. Our business grew and we were able to serve both residential and commercial clients throughout Charlottesville and Central Virginia. If you have some painting that you keep putting off, leave it to the pros. Contact us anytime for a FREE ESTIMATE!